Education

What's at Stake in the School Board Race?

Can somebody break down the school board race for us? I know this: Incumbents Gloria Faley, Ed Sechrest and Elizabeth Carter are running. Challengers Jamezetta Bedford, Mike Kelley and George Griffin are also running. There are four seats total to be filled.

Personally I have known Gloria Faley and Elizabeth Carter for a long time and I plan to vote for them, but I am having a hard time picking my other candidates. I like Ed Sechrest and I think I will vote for him, but how do I choose from among Bedford, Kelley and Griffin.

All the newspaper articles make these candidates sound very similar. About the most substantive thing I can find is that Griffin and Kelley are critical of a Board decision to eliminate "a self-contained classroom" for "gifted" students in middle schools. Is that a suburban middle-class issue that betrays something about who Griffin and Kelley are? Or is it just plain old vote grabbing? Or is there a real, live issue there (but one which I don't entirely understand)?

Indy School Board Endorsement Misses a Good One

I was sorely disappointed with the Independent's failure to endorse School Board Vice-Chairperson Gloria Faley. I have to admit that I'm not the most consistent watcher of school board actions, but the Indy got this one all wrong. There has been no indication that Gloria ever stopped being a "refreshing, independent voice" on the Board. As a member of one of the other elected bodies Gloria addressed during the "School in a Park" debate, one who ultimately voted against her position, I saw Gloria as professional, articulate advocate -- even as some others who supported locating the school on the park land, were anything but. I hope voters in Chapel Hill and Carrboro remember that amidst the fiery rhetoric of both the School/Park issue and the recent merger fights, Gloria has been a calming voice…in large part because she approaches these issues with a reasoned mind (even if other reasoned minds sometimes disagree with her). Her leadership consistently reminds me of the value of representative government.

More Endorsements by <i>The C. H. News</i>

The Chapel Hill News has published endorsements for Carrboro Mayor and Board of Aldermen as well as Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board.

In Carrboro, the News went with a solid slate of incumbents Mike Nelson, Joal Broun, and Alex Zaffron - plus Mark Chilton. I would certainly endorse that endorsement. Anyone want to discuss the history or odds of running as an earnest write-in candidate? I haven't seen anyone do it around here before. But even if I lived in Carrboro (which I don't) and even if he was on the ballot (which he's not), I still wouldn't vote for Jeff Vanke.)

For School Board, the News goes with incumbents Elizabeth Carter and Gloria Faley (who rock), pseudo-incumbent Ed Schrest, and over-qualified George Griffin.

Smart Schools

People around here love the word "smart." We're "smart." We have "smart" kids. We drink "smart" juice. We believe in "smart" growth. And now we want a smart-growth high school in Carrboro.

The smart-growth high school may represent the unified theory of folks who have escaped the city, embraced the space and beauty of our landscape and the pace of our lifestyles, but are still nostalgic for the days when they attended schools that began with "P.S." Establishing an urban neighborhood school in a non-urban environment would represent the overcoming of the last great obstacle to this marriage of fire and water we've been noodling with for the better part of a decade. That is, how to live a life as charged and overflowing and creative and convenient as life in Brooklyn (or Wicker Park, or Cambridge), while dispensing with the smell, and the crowds, and the dirt, and the attenuation of the natural world. Maybe in Carrboro, we think, we can just wish it into being.

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